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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

S90                                                      PABGANA MJtP.
lords • they are mere contractors for the collection of the Imperial revenue, and
it seems imperative upon the G-oyemment to recognize them only in that inferior
capacity, and itself to nndertake all the responsibilities of the real landlord.
Since they have no influence for good, both policy and humanity demand that
at least their power for evil should be restricted within the narrowest possible
limits.
The most noticeable feature of the pargana is the extensive morass, from
which the town of Nofi-jhii derives the latter part of its name.    Its dimensions
vary very much at different seasons of the year and according to the heaviness
of the rainfall, but it not unfrequently spreads over an area measuring six miles
in length by one in breadth.    It is the favourite haunt of large swarms of
water-fowl, which are caught at night in nets? into which they are frightened
by torches and fires lit on the opposite bank.    They ordinarily sell for about
Es. 4-8 the hundred.    The lands which have a chance of being left dry by the
subsidence of the  waters in time to be sown with hot-weather crops, bear the
distinctive name of Lana, and are formed into separate estates, which it is a
matter of no little difficulty to assess at their average value.    When there is
any harvest at all, it is exceptionally good ; but not unfrequently the land
remains flooded till seed-time is over, and the only source of profit then left to
the proprietor is the pasturage.   The inundation, though primarily the result
of the natural low level of the country, has been artificially increased by exca-
vations made some centuries ago with the express object of laying the approaches
to the Fort under water : this being one of the special modes of rendering a
stronghold impregnable laid down in Sanskrit treatises on the art of war.
An outlet was provided by a winding channel, some five miles in length, called
the Dhundal Mia, which passed under Firoz-pur and joined the Jamuna near
Mangal-khoh; but its mouth is now completely blocked for a long distance.
The cost of re-opening it has been estimated at Bs. 2,093; an expenditure which
would soon be recovered by the settled revenue of the reclaimed land.    A
simpler, but at the same time a less efficient, remedy might be found in the re-
construction of an embankment ascribed to Nawab Ashraf Khan, which formerly
existed near the village of Musmina, and was kept in partial repair by the J&t
zamindars of that place till 1866.   In that year the jhil was entirely dry, and
ih© dam being in consequence neglected, the next heavy flood washed it away.
To provide an exit for the water seems, however, far preferable to blocking its
entrance; as the temporary submersion has a very beneficial effect on the land,
and its total prevention might result in rendering a large area absolutely
uncaltorable.   A weli-devked scheme of drainage for this part of the country,